Kylian Mbappe set to make first appearance of the season for PSG

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Kylian Mbappe is expected to make his first appearance of the season when Paris Saint-Germain head to Guingamp on Saturday.

The 19-year-old forward was rested for last weekend’s opening-day win over Caen following his World Cup exertions.

Mbappe was named the best young player at the tournament after scoring in the final as France beat Croatia 4-2.

PSG coach Thomas Tuchel confirmed Mbappe is in contention to feature and is expecting even bigger things from the youngster in Ligue 1 this term.

“He has just returned from winning the World Cup, so now he has a lot more experience,” Tuchel said.

“I expect him to continue his progression this season. We have to make sure he stays hungry for winning, that he stays focused on his football and keeps his head on his shoulders, that he keeps growing, despite everything he has already won.

“He is a real competitor, he wanted to play last Sunday but I wanted to wait a little. We will see after training if he is ready to play against Guingamp.”

PSG will still be without Layvin Kurzawa, Edinson Cavani and Marco Verratti for the clash.

But German midfielder Thilo Kehrer could be added to the squad following his £33million transfer from Schalke.

“With Thilo, we have signed a very versatile player, capable of playing every position in midfield and also in midfield in front of the defence,” added Tuchel, according to psg.fr.

“Our aim is to improve the squad and keep it as competitive as possible. If we need other players to reach our objectives, we will look for them.

“Thilo is a very talented player, very strong and technical. We have to see how quickly he can adapt. He trained for the first time on Thursday and the next session will be more intense. We will decide if he travels with us to Guingamp.”

Guingamp will be looking to bounce back from their opening-day 2-1 defeat by St Etienne.

Head coach Antoine Kombouare said keeping the ball would be key to resisting the likes of Neymar and Mbappe.

“Because if we can’t we’ll be constantly having to defend and chase after the ball, it’s very difficult,” he said.

Neymar made his PSG debut in the corresponding fixture at the start of last season, inspiring the capital side to a 3-0 victory.

Kombouare added: “We’d love to play a great match. The 3-0 defeat last year has stayed in our minds. We played a great match but Neymar and the other Parisian players were on top form that night.

“When they’re like that, it’s difficult to stop them.”

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Neymar is back among the goals in our PSG player ratings after Ligue 1 kick-off versus Caen

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Paris Saint-Germain kicked off their Ligue 1 title defence with a 3-0 victory against Caen on Sunday night.

Brazil superstar Neymar needed only 10 minutes to strike upon his first competitive club start since February 26’s foot injury against Marseille, visiting goalkeeper Brice Samba’s poor clearance was to blame. French midfielder Adrien Rabiot converted Argentina winger Angel Di Maria’s low centre to make it 2-0, 10 minutes before the break.

A piece of history came at the death when United States substitute Timothy Weah tackled the dawdling Samba and the ball went in. This earned club legend George’s son his first Ligue 1 goal.

Here are our player ratings from new head coach Thomas Tuchel’s top-flight bow:

PSG (4-3-3)

Gianluigi Buffon – 6: For the first time since 2001, the Italy icon was not decked in the colours of Juventus. Experienced an effortless debut, being forced to face just one attempt on target.

Colin Dagba – 6: The 19-year-old kept it simple against Caen, with a pass accuracy of 97 per cent pointing to his precision, in the absence of injured Brazil right-back Dani Alves and with Belgium marauder Thomas Meunier on the bench as he gets up to speed.

Marquinhos – 6: Led the way with two aerial challenges won as he stood up to the physical threat of Caen striker Malik Tchokounte.

Thiago Silva – 6: Brazil veteran wasn’t tested at all as PSG basked in 64-per-cent possession. Comfortable reintroduction to the French top flight.

Stanley N’Soki – 7: A really busy performance in a left-back slot that remains up for grabs. Made a trio of tackles and clearances, two interceptions and one cross. Promising from the teenager.

Antoine Bernede – 7: The 19-year-old was composure personified. Boasted the best pass accuracy of any outfield PSG starter (97.8 per cent) from 92 passes.

Lassana Diarra – 5: The experienced part of the PSG midfield underwhelmed. Only made one tackle and his pass accuracy of 90.1 per cent was only the 10th best for his club. Talented teenagers are putting him under pressure.

Adrien Rabiot – 7: A tumultuous summer that contained turning down a World Cup standby spot and repeat links to Barcelona ended with a tap-in. Should remain a key player at PSG, under Tuchel.

Christopher Nkunku – 7: Was gifted an early assist to Neymar by Caen goalkeeper Brice Samba’s awful clearance. His four dribbles was the most of anyone from the hosts.

Neymar – 7: The only member of PSG’s standout attacking trio to start. Effortlessly rolled in the first and then began a slow acclimation. Much more is to come – if Real Madrid don’t come knocking.

Angel Di Maria – 7: Showed great drive to burst into the penalty area and tee up Rabiot. Was a steady performer with two shots, two key passes and two dribbles.

SUBS

Moussa Diaby – 6: Made little impression during more than 20 minutes on the pitch.

Julian Draxler – 5: Needs to make more of the chances given to him by Tuchel, especially with a return to Schalke mooted.

Timothy Weah – N/A: A combination of the goalkeeper and back post denied him at the start. Kept plugging away and reward for his efforts came with Samba’s second glaring mistake of the night.

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Kylian Mbappe ready to show off World Cup form with PSG

David Cooper 11/08/2018
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Kylian Mbappe wants to sweep the winning feeling France generated at the World Cup into Paris Saint-Germain’s quest for an eighth Ligue 1 crown.

The French champions launch their title defence against Caen at the Parc des Princes on Sunday.

Neymar is set to return after missing the final three months of last season with a foot problem before recovering in time to lead Brazil in Russia.

Mbappe’s performances at the World Cup overshadowed those of his PSG team-mate’s and the 19-year-old forward was named the competition’s best young player after producing four goals.

“It was a really incredible feeling. We did it!” Mbappe told PSG TV.

“At the start, you just want to enjoy the experience, but the further you go, you start thinking about winning it. It’s the World Cup, something unique.

“You realise pretty quickly that you have to make sacrifices to win something so special. And I have no problem making sacrifices to win.

“But now we’re back in Paris with new objectives, even if we always want to win. In Russia it was with the national team and now I’m back with my club side – but we still have to keep on winning.”

PSG have had a quiet summer in the transfer market with Gianluigi Buffon their only new signing and the veteran Italy goalkeeper is backing Mbappe to become one of the greats of the game.

“Kylian has something more than the others,” Buffon told PSG’s official club magazine.

“I hope that he will remain humble and maintain his desire to progress and make sacrifices. If Kylian does that, then he will leave his mark on football history and write some incredible pages in sporting history.

“If he can stay grounded and focused on his objectives he can become as great as Pele, Diego Maradona, Ronaldo and Lionel Messi.”

Thomas Tuchel signed a two-year deal to replace new Arsenal boss Unai Emery as PSG manager and will be making his competitive debut for the club against Caen.

The Normandy side secured their top flight status on the final day of last season by getting an unlikely draw with the champions.

However, Caen have also changed managers since then, replacing Patrice Garande with the inexperienced Fabien Mercadal.

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